5.7/10
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9 user 3 critic

Don't Knock the Rock (1956)

TV-G | | Music | 14 December 1956 (USA)
A disc jockey tries to prove to teenagers' parents that rock 'n' roll is harmless and won't turn their kids into juvenile delinquents.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bill Haley's Comets (as Bill Haley and His Comets)
Alan Dale ...
Alan Freed ...
Alan Freed
The Treniers ...
The Trenirs
...
Little Richard
Dave Appell ...
Dave Appell
Applejacks ...
The Applejacks
Patricia Hardy ...
Francine MacLaine
...
Arlene MacLaine
...
Gail Ganley ...
Molly Haines, Sister
...
Mayor George Bagley
...
Influential Citizen Tom Everett
...
Sheriff at End
Jovada Ballard ...
Jovada Ballard - Jitterbug Contest Winner
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Storyline

Arnie Haines is one of the stars of the new musical genre called rock 'n' roll. He is tired of touring, so he and his band decide to take a vacation in their hometown Mellondale. When they arrive, they are welcomed with great enthusiasm by the local youth. Mayor Bagley interferes and forbids them to play in the town, because he doesn't want them to demoralize the youth. The much-feared columnist Arlene MacLaine is brought to Mellondale by her daughter Francine, who is trying to cajole her mother to appreciate rock 'n' roll. But in Arlene's next column in nationwide media, she denounces Arnie Haines and rock 'n' roll. Francine contacts Arnie. On a visit to the beach they not only make up plans on how to change her mother's opinion, but also fall in love. Their plan is to organize a big rock 'n' roll show in the small town Friesville, and bring her mother there. The local mayor Tom Everett agrees to let them hire Friesville Palladium. His daughter Sunny is immediately infatuated by ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Made By The Producers of "Rock Around The Clock"! See more »

Genres:

Music

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 December 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hi Fi  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was a follow-up to Rock Around the Clock (1956) and shares many of the same sets and cast. See more »

Goofs

The dialog indicates that Arnie Haines' home town is somewhere in New England when he discusses going home for vacation, but the train that he gets off has the logo of the Sunset Limited on three cars. The Sunset Limited was a luxury train of the Southern Pacific Railroad that ran along the California Coast. See more »

Quotes

[Bill Haley walks up to a table with Arnie Haines and Alan Freed]
Bill Haley: How we doin', Dad, the newspaper gal diggin' us?
Arnie Haines: Yeah, real deep. She sounds like she has us plowed way under already.
Alan Freed: That's freedom of the press.
Bill Haley: Yeah, and I always thought that freedom of the press was a tailor who irons your suits for nothing. It shows you.
[everyone laughs a forced and phony laugh, and then they all get up and leave; Bill Haley looks offended]
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Connections

Featured in Super Night of Rock 'n' Roll (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Tutti Frutti
Written by Dorothy La Bostrie, Little Richard (as Richard Penniman) and Joe Lubin
Sung by Little Richard
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bill Haley's second film, with Little Richard, The Treniers, and Alan Freed. Worth finding for 50s' rock and roll fans
2 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

The second film featuring Bill Haley and the Comets, DON'T KNOCK THE ROCK, features a lot of great music from Haley's Comets, Little Richard, and the Treniers, and this is probably the biggest dramatic role that Alan Freed had in any of his 1950's rock and roll epics, a role that he handles quite well. Bill Haley also seems more relaxed here in his dialogue scenes than he was in ROCK AROUND THE CLOCk, although Bill and band are really not the stars of the film. The character of Arnie Haines, played by Alan Dale, is the protagonist of the film, and Haines' story is the one told here. Dale sings three songs--a ballad that could have come from the big band era, a Johnnie Ray-style emotion-filled number, and a semi rock and roll number in the Bobby Darin vein. Dale is a fine actor and he has the dramatic ability and charisma to carry a film on his own. I was unfamiliar with him and wondered why he got the role in the film, since he was not playing himself. It seems Mr. Dale made his mark as a singer late in the big band era, and had his own television show in 1948. He had a number of hit records in the late 40s and early 50s produced by Bob Thiele (later of Flying Dutchman records fame, for those of us under 50). He was evidently a very talented man, as well as a courageous (standing up to the mob) and intelligent (published author) one. However, he is really not a rock and roll performer. If you can get past that, the rest of the movie is a lot of fun, the performances are exciting, and the show even gives away some of the phony tricks and staged events of the music promotion world. Haley never starred in a third film (although he and the band were in others, both here and abroad), and despite a half dozen hot songs in this one, he and band are basically guest stars in their own film. Little Richard does two of his best-known numbers in classic style (playing the piano while standing with his back to it, playing the piano while one leg is over the top of the piano, etc.), and the Treniers do two numbers that give some hint about why they were so legendary for their live act (although I'm sure this is a VERY watered down version of what they did live). I like Dave Appell's music, in the Philadelphia jive-rock style, but the number he does here is not that impressive. Overall, this is a nice window into 1950's rock and roll and a good opportunity to see some of the best artists of the period performing (or should I say miming). Worth finding for the 50's fan.


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